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Jul 13, 2017 Return to Headlines

Help Rid Coquitlam of Giant Hogweed

by Colleen Smith |

COQUITLAM, BC, July 13, 2017 – It’s that time of year when Giant Hogweed is coming into full bloom and the City is asking for the community’s help to locate the harmful and invasive plant so that it can be eliminated from Coquitlam. 

The removal of Giant Hogweed is a priority due to its threat to human health and the ecosystem. Coming into contact with Giant Hogweed sap can cause severe blistering, large welts and burns to human skin. In addition, the invasive plant can take over the natural environment, push out native plants, and compromise habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife.

As City staff continues to monitor public lands for any signs of Giant Hogweed, they are also asking residents to report their sightings of Hogweed by completing an online reporting form at coquitlam.ca/reporthogweed

Giant Hogweed grows quickly and is recognizable by its large white flower blooms and the stiff white hairs that cover most of the plant — here are some other details:

  • Very tall, reaching up to 5 metres.
  • White flower heads reach up to 1.5 metres in diameter and bloom in mid August.
  • Leaves are shiny and large with coarse, jagged edges.
  • Stalks have purple spots or streaks and stiff bristly hairs. 
  • Typically grows on riverbanks, ravines, vacant lots or along roads, but can also occur on residential property.

If you spot Giant Hogwood, avoid touching the plant. In addition to burns to the skin, sap enterining the eyes can cause temporary or permanent blindness. If you do come into contact with Giant Hogweed, wash the affected area immediately, keep it out of the sun and promptly seek medical advice.

While the City takes steps to rid public property of Giant Hogweed, residents are responsible for removing the noxious weed from private property. To remove any plants found on your property, residents are encouraged to seek assistance from a qualified and experienced landscape professional, or visit the City’s website at coquitlam.ca/hogweed to review WorksSafe BC instructions for safe removal and to watch an instructional video​ if they plan to remove it themselves. 

For additional information or inquiries, contact 604-927-6300 or parks@coquitlam.ca.

About Bad Seed

Through its Bad Seed program, the City of Coquitlam has been progressive with initiatives to stop the introduction and spread of invasive species in Coquitlam. City crews remain vigilant as these plants grow aggressively, adapt to different situations and are persistent in their spread. Bad Seed program initiatives include weed pulling events, public awareness campaigns and online resources. To find out more visit, coquitlam.ca/badseed

Download related images from our Bad Seed flickr album.

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Media contact:

Lanny Englund
Urban Forestry & Parks Serv​ices Manager
604-927-6330
lenglund@coquitlam.ca